Part 13: Patrof, Where Shit Goes DownPatrof was bad news. I could tell right off.
Seedy thugs on every corner. I'd heard all the names before. Brains, they called them. Punks traveled in packs. They didn't mess with us. Me and Officer Olvan have a reputation in this town.
It's not easy walking the Patrof beat. The ground itself seeps up to strike you, the whole place drops rocks on your head like it's raining death. Sometimes I think it's true.
We'd just gotten off duty when a call came in from downtown. Officer Olvan put the car in gear and we headed back to the precinct.
Halfway down the street an old salt comes rushing out in the street. Thank God old Olvan's got as much of a lead foot on the brakes as he does on the gas. The old man was hysterical. I called this one in, homicide. I'd seen witnesses like this before.
Olvan parked the car. I stepped outside and flashed a pretty young thing my badge. "Detective Wilme, Patrof PD." But she wouldn't talk. Just warning me what could happen if I didn't toe the line. I knew where this was going.
A witness at a seedy motel told me this wasn't a single homicide. Just what I needed. I took a drag off my cigarette, swearing. I was out, but Olvan still had half a pack. I tracked him down.
He'd found a stool pigeon, somebody not afraid to spill the beans. We didn't have a perp, but we knew the make of the murder weapon. Star Rune. I slipped my hand in my jacket and checked on my Water Rune. It only healed 60 HP; the Star Rune doubled defense. I'd be outclassed in a straight shootout with whoever was behind this. I told Olvan to watch our backs.
The victims were all laid out as we combed the ramshackle tenements in the rain. Some of the victims had already been laid out in backlots.
This was bad. Vandalism of makeshift tombstones before the bodies had even gone cold. We were dealing with a real smooth criminal, an ice cold psychopath.
I stopped off at a local pharmacy. I'd need a lot more than a bummed cigarette to steel myself for this one.
Washing my face in the druggist's run-down bathroom, I realized that I looked like hell. My skin was like rock, covered in spikes. My whole body felt like it was on fire. I hoped the pills would keep that down until I made the collar.
We couldn't just back off. I told Olvan to head back to the patrol car for the shotgun.
We found the place, sooner or later.
Locked up tight. Son of a bitch. We couldn't blow the lock off; a hardened killer like that would smell a waft of buckshot like a bad sewage line.
We were going in through the basement. It would be our last chance to stop this insanity.